The Secret Is In The Bramble

Are You A Bramble Marketer?

On my frequent walks in the local area, I get time to observe the local environment and sometimes really useful ideas spring up from things I have seen. The local hedgerows have a lot of brambles and this year, they have been shouting at me to watch them and learn.

What do you think of brambles?

  • A garden nuisance, with their long thorny stems, that are painful and difficult to remove?
  • A walker’s or forager’s favorite, with juicy black fruits ready to pick and munch in autumn?
  • Or maybe you have never really thought about them at all?

Secrets

The bramble holds several secrets that we can learn from if we want. For instance:

  • Did you know there are said to be 1000 described species of bramble in the world, with over 320 microspecies?
  • The study of brambles has its own name – batology.
  • Even more important, the bramble is excellently adapted to obtain its nutrients and light at theĀ expense of other species.

So?

Read on to see what that means for YOU and Your Motivation to Market:

  • A bramble is any tangled, prickly, rough shrub, usually a blackberry in the UK, though it may also be a raspberry in the USA.
  • It has an underground, perennial rootstock that throws up new shoots or suckers in the Spring. Perennial means it lives for many years.
  • The new shoots last for two years.
  • In their first year, these shoots grow as very long arching stems, reaching down to the ground.
  • If the tip of the shoot touches the soil it can develop roots and form a daughter plant. Those roots then form part of the underground rootstock.
  • In the second year, these shoots develop flowers and then fruits.
  • Brambles are difficult to eradicate once they have become established.
  • If you try removing the rootstock, anything left below ground may regenerate.
  • The root systems will be so wide-spread and interwoven that removing them would require digging up the entire area.

OK, so what does all this information mean for secrets in marketing motivation?

Bramble Root System – Perennial Rootstock

The root of the bramble plant is persistent and perennial, it lasts for years.

Being underground it is hidden.

For established bramble patches it spreads all over the area and is very hard to get rid of.

New shoots (first year) try to arch to a distance from the parent plant and then reach down to touch the ground, forming a new perennial rootstock at a distance from the parent plant.

The rootstock throws up new shoots every year.

Learning Points

How can you make your product(s) or your marketing efforts perennial, so they will last for years?

What does “hidden underground” mean for your marketing (or product)?

How can you keep your rootstock spreading so it is hard to get rid of and any left over piece will send up new shoots?

What new shoots do you need to throw up?

Trip Hazard

On footpaths and in areas of semi woodland, say, brambles can create a trip hazard with those first-year arching shoots that root at their tips.

Learning Points

How can you trip your customers into staying on your web page or with your promoted product, so they stay longer, perhaps buy more?

Any “trip” needs to be ethical, to keep your customer interested. What would interest them? Do you know what brought them to that page? What did they expect or want? Can you give them more of that?

First year bramble shoots

These are the long, dangly, arching stems that try to reach as far as possible from the parent plant. Once they touch the ground, they send out new roots. That starts a fresh bramble bush, with the same genetics as the parent.

Learning Points

Can you send out long first-year bramble shoots in YOUR business?

What would those look like? For the bramble, they are still part of the original bush and spread it further.

How can you spread your niche further?

Is there another micro niche you could spread into?

Maybe a different variation of a successful product?

Second year shoots

These shoots are shorter and close to the main plant. This may be because many of the the long first year shoots have been cut back to keep the paths open and not choked with brambles.

These shoots can bear fruits and flowers simultaneously, that is, they keep flowering throughout the summer, even after fruit has been set. The bramble needs the flowers to produce the fruit. It uses the fruit to spread itself further. The fruit contains seeds. The fruit is attractive to animals as well as humans, these eat the fruit and spread the seed, possibly a LOT further than the first year arching shoots can do.

Learning Points

What “fruit” are you using to attract your customers?

What “seed” is contained within?

How will this help you increase your marketing reach?

If you consider this as your social media marketing, your fruit is the meme, picture or quote that everyone wants to share. What seed or message goes along with it? Your URL? A product review? Maybe a free gift that can spread your message?

Keeps flowering

The bramble keeps on flowering even when ripe fruit is available. It takes no account of the fruit that has already been produced, after all, who knows whether the seed in that fruit will reach a suitable site? The only way to reach new ground is to keep on flowering and producing fruit.

Learning Points

Are there any time management techniques you need to employ to follow this strategy? Outsourcing? Automation?

Conclusion

The bramble is a survivor. Its seed can survive up to 100 years and STILL sprout. It spreads 3 ways, by extending its underground root system, by sending out long shoots to form new plants and through seeds, dispersed by animals. The rootstock is perennial (lives many years) and hidden and sends up new suckers or shoots every year.

It is an amazing plant. (I love blackberries in any form).

It also provides a lot of lessons in motivation and marketing. Are you a bramble marketer?

Want A WorkBook For This?

You can get a workbook with the learning points in it as a 3 page downloadable PDF here.